Brooklyn Nets have no intention of rushing Ben Simmons back into action as their new arrival waits to make his first appearance of the season.
Brooklyn are 5/1 to win the NBA Championship outright.
The Nets brought in Simmons from Philadelphia 76ers on the NBA's trade deadline day, sending James Harden in the opposite direction.
Simmons didn't play for Philadelphia in the first half of the season after requesting a trade over the summer and Nets coach Steve Nash says the guard needs to be ready physically and mentally before he suits up for a Brooklyn debut.
"I think he's in a pretty good place mentally," Nash said prior to Monday night's 109-85 win over Sacramento Kings, via ESPN.
"And if we work with him here, in conjunction with his physical ramp-up, to make sure he's comfortable on and off the floor, I think he'll be ready to play mentally when he's physically ready."
He added: "We have to put him in a position to have the necessary conditioning underneath him and to feel safe with it. And then he also has to feel confident and comfortable that the time has come. So whenever that is, hopefully there's a great partnership on those decisions."
Brooklyn had lost 11 games in a row prior to Monday's win over Sacramento but Nash says he will resist any urge to throw Simmons into action simply because the team are struggling for form.
He said: "It hurts to suffer like this and lose games. At the same time, we have to have the big picture in mind. And while we go out and try to win every night, we can't skip steps.
"We have to be as thoughtful and as methodical with our approach as we can.
"And if it all comes together seamlessly, that'd be great; but if not, we stick to our process and continue to build that cohesion and understanding, and whatever time it takes, it takes."
The Nets sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-27 overall record, two-and-a-half games behind Boston Celtics in the final automatic playoff spot.
Brooklyn are next in action on Wednesday when they face city rivals New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.